20 April 2016
Yet again I have had to allay fears that I have resigned or better still been “fired”.
No such luck. Sorry for you!!! I am back.
The last few weeks has been a blur of activity. No less than five major events being held at Shongweni dam within a 2 month period.
Some of us have been down there so often that even the monkeys wave at us.
All five events have been major successes. KZN Sprints, SA Sprints, SA School Sprints, Africa Sprint Championships and SA Canoe Polo Championships.
The one event that sucked the life and soul out of a few of us for weeks was the Africa Sprint Championships. A huge effort which culminated in an exceptionally well run tournament, leading the ICF representative to comment that it was the best Africa Champs ever held.
A massive thanks to Kim Pople and her Umzinyathi committee for all of their efforts over such a protracted period of time.
Our sprinters did us proud, winning almost every event that they participated in, and winning the best country award.
At the prizegiving dinner on the final day, Hank and Bridgitte were awarded the “Africa Paddler of the Year” for their respective sexes.
NCC and the club manager Brett Austin Smith also stepped up to the plate to organise the marathon test event on the 9th. Unfortunately, the World Cup, which was due to take place over the same weekend was cancelled due to a lack of entries. The lack of entries is no reflection on the venue, nor on the organizational capabilities of the club.
It is a symptom of the international funding model in which non Olympic disciplines do not receive much support from their federations. Many nations only have enough funding to contribute towards attendance at the World Championships. It is not the first time that a world cup has been cancelled, and there should be no cause to become concerned that the World Championships will suffer the same fate next year.
The ICF marathon committee members who attended the event claimed that it is world class venue, and were exceptionally impressed with the organizational capacity of NCC.
While Bridgitte continues with her sprinting build up to Rio, the rest of us turn our attention to marathon racing. With an eye on a home World Championships next year, there has been a renewed interest in marathon racing, with encouraging attendance at the few races that have been held so far.
The SA Champs, which is due to be held at the Peninsula Canoe Club in Cape Town over the weekend of the 11th and 12th of June, promises to be the usual cut throat affair that it usually is, with the country’s best marathon paddlers racing for a place in the national team to attend the World Marathon Championships in Germany in September.
Those who need something a bit longer, with stunning scenery, should consider the “Orange Descent” which is being held this weekend on the Orange river near Upington. The locals are the world’s best hosts (they are not inundated with visitors) and you are likely to have a Klipdrift and a lamb chop in your hand before you can even get your splashie off.
As mentioned, the SA Canoe polo championships was held at Shongweni the weekend before last. A surprise upset in the men’s final saw KZN edge out the more fancied Gauteng side. This feat was emulated by the ladies and the U16’s. There has been a splendid resurgence in the discipline over the past year, especially at grass roots level. Canoe polo should be one of our leading disciplines. It can be played at so many venues, and has the added bonus of being a team sport and improving all aspects of boat control.
If you prefer the taste of salt, the Bay Union winter surfski series has started in KZN. The McCarthy Toyota King of the bay was held on Sunday with an impressive turnout, despite the gusting north east that picked up. There will be ski races almost every weekend for the next month and a half.
While on the subject of surf ski races, the SA Schools Championships was squeezed in during the same weekend as the SA Sprint Championships. Congratulations on the following, who received their SA Schools colours for surfski;
Bailey De Fondaumiere
Some of you Discovery members may have noticed that you can no longer claim points for paddling races. This blatant discrimination against our sport has been challenged at the highest level, and I can proudly tell you that we have won the battle. Very soon you will be able to qualify for all sorts of cups of coffee and things, just like the lycra clad saddle pushers and the runners.
That’s all for this week.
Enjoy the holiday tomorrow.
McGregor & Russell crowned Kings of the Bay
KwaZulu-Natal’s surfski community were treated to a once-a-year paddling spectacle on Sunday, 24 April as the exhilarating Bay Union King of the Bay presented by Zurich, race two of the Bay Union Surfski Series, saw them charge across the waters of Durban harbour and out the mouth to sea. Read the full story here.
Berg River Canoe Marathon
WC Canoe Union are instituting a set of qualifying criteria for the Berg River Marathon in the same manner as many major ultra-marathon events. To find out about the new qualifying structure go here and to enter the 2016 edition of the race head here.
KwaZulu-Natal Canoe Union
The next instalment of the Bay Union Surfski Series comes up this Sunday with the Lion of Africa Surf Challenge. The race starts at 9am from Marine SLC!
Gauteng Canoe Union
GCU Marathon championships which take place weekend 7 and 8 May at ERK / Homestead dam – teams will be selected to represent Gauteng at the SA Marathons in June in the Western Cape. VLC will be hosting the next Klip River race as well after that on 14 May, while FLCC will host the 22nd May race – both races are suitable for novices.
Eastern Cape Canoe Union
The Eastern Cape Marathon Championships will be coming up in May. They will be happening over the weekend of 21-22 May at Settlers Dam just outside Grahamstown. Get hold of firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Central Districts Canoe Union
The long awaited Orange Descent is coming up this weekend! We hope everyone travels safely and enjoys what should be a great adventure!
The Harbour2Heads Lagoon Challenge
The Harbour to Heads race is coming up in Knysna during the Pick ‘n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. Registration happens on Saturday 2 July from 12-4pm with the racing happening on Sunday 3 July at 9am. You can enter online here. Head to their Facebook page here for more information!
The Orange Descent
We are glad introduce the new Orange Descent an exiting new race on the Orange River from Upington to Kakamas. This two-day stage race stretching over 73km covers one of the most beautiful stretch of water our country has to offer. For more information on the race go and look here.
MARK II SIZE 7
“ADJUSTABLE REAR” EXCELLENT CONDITION
KEPT INDOORS HARDLY USED
R5500.00 CONTACT CRAIG 084 7460079
1x Swordfish S carbon Hybrid 2015, only used for a few months
Contact Ashley – 0829023638. Cape Town
Fenn Elite double surf ski
Based in Durban, but prepared to collect from anywhere
Contact Greg at 082 9417401
Fenn Single Surfski
Contact Barry Takis – email@example.com
Looking for a second hand Fenn Double Elite (Carbon or glass).
Based in CPT, but could arrange shipping.
e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or 084 234 1731
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